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Fact: I am a HUGE Gamma Ray fan and have been since the first album was released. For me, they are the ultimate power metal band and Kai Hansen is pretty close to being a living God, so when I was told this was in my review list I was just a little pleased. It’s been a while since we’ve had any new material from Gamma Ray but they’ve not been quiet. Currently on a huge tour with Helloween plus the fairly recent ‘Skeletons & Majesties’ live Album/DVD and of course Kai’s fabulous side project with Michael Kiske, Unisonic, all providing plenty to keep us occupied. To be truthful, though, I’m quite pleased about that because, even by Gamma Ray’s high standards, I do think the last couple of studio albums have been missing a certain something and a break was probably a good thing, especially when you hear what has been delivered here.

‘Master Of Confusion’ is an EP on a grand scale. This is how it should be done (take note Stratovarius). Nearly sixty minutes of music comprising of two new tracks, two cover versions and six live tracks that had to be left off the CD version of the live album due to space restrictions. All this is at a special price and to whet our appetites for the new album which will be due at the end of the year. Not bad, eh? ‘Empire Of The Undead’ and ‘Master Of Confusion’ are the new tracks, and the best thing Gamma Ray have written for a while. Everyone seems re-energised and it shows in the performances. Classic Iron Maiden meets Helloween is the order of the day unsurprisingly. Mr Hansen, along with the rest of Helloween, invented the power metal genre so anyone who says these tracks are unoriginal is missing the point totally. This is Gamma Ray’s sound full stop. Holocaust’s ‘Death Or Glory’ and Sweet’s ‘Lost Angels’ are the covers and they do the job more than adequately. As for the live tracks; well, the fact that they include ‘Wings Of Destiny’, ‘The Spirit’, ‘Gamma Ray’ and ‘Farewell’ (and these were left off the live CD), proves what a stunning back catalogue this band have to choose from! Great production, artwork and booklet, this EP is pretty much perfect. It gives the existing fans some new and bonus material and it could quite easily introduce new fans to the band as well. It also has me frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the new album. What more could you ask for?
Review by Rick Tilley
25th March 2013
1) Empire of the Undead
2) Master of Confusion
3) Death or Glory
4) Lost Angels
5) The Spirit
6) Wings of Destiny
7) Gamma Ray
8) Farewell
9) Time to Break Free
10) Insurrection
"‘Master Of Confusion’ is an EP on a grand scale. This is how it should be done..."